Aging Well in the Gorge August 1st 2017

Would you consider yourself a child or an adult? Okay, that is a dumb question. But in the 1800’s, you were either considered a child or an adult – and back then you could be considered an adult, working and married, by the age of 16. Life was tough and childhood didn’t last long.

But starting in the early 1900’s a social revolution began. With new child labor laws, children encouraged to stay in school longer, sixteen to eighteen-year old’s waiting longer to marry, and with the automobile providing greater independence, another life stage evolved which became known as the “teenager”.

But teenager wasn’t the only term created to describe an age group. In a 1938 political campaign, senior citizen was first used as a euphemism for “old person”. It has since been abbreviated to senior and is generally defined as a person over the age of 65 – when retirement usually begins or social benefits generally start.

So here’s another question? Do you consider yourself a senior even though you are probably over 65? And to be a little more blunt, do you consider yourself old?

If you answer is no, you are not alone. There is growing number of individuals who are over 65 who see themselves as healthy and do not consider themselves seniors – as in “old”. For these individuals, their idea of retirement is not withdrawal – but active engagement including working into their 70’s, particularly if the work is flexible, traveling, and recreating. They feel they have many more active years left, and they aren’t ready to sit it out.

Understanding this new life stage of the “young-old” and the value of naming it, was the focus of several articles in the July 8th Economist. It was suggested that by giving a name to this life stage, it could dramatically change attitudes toward the “young-old” and create economic changes and new opportunities as was the case when the term “teenager” was created. 

But what do you call this new life stage? Some of the ideas suggested by the Economist are Geriactives, Sunsetters, “Nyppies” (Net Yet Past It) or “Owls” (Older, Working less, Still Earning). None of those suggestions sound good to me. But if you have an idea, email it to me. Maybe you can be on the cutting age of a whole new attitudinal revolution towards older adults.

This may yet be the hottest week of the summer, so don’t take any chances in the heat. Stay cool, drink plenty of liquids, keep informed and stay connected with family, friends and neighbors. And have a plan for an emergency which could be as simple as losing the power in your house to operate your air-conditioner.  
If you don’t have air conditioning in your house, don’t forget the old-fashioned ways to stay cool: fans, cold water foot baths, ice packs, and cool showers. And if you know of anyone, who needs, but cannot afford to purchase a fan or air conditioner, the Center has two fans and one small window air conditioner that have been donated to the Center to loan out for emergencies.
For the second and fourth Tuesdays in August, Andre Lamoureux and his band will be performing at the Center for your dancing and listening pleasure. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00. Everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated.
The name of the liquid detergent soap that in 1968 was advertised as being strong enough to remove the “ring around the collar” was Wisk. (I don’t believe I received any correct answers this week although several folks, including my wife, thought the answer was TIDE.)
It’s a new month and the theme for this month’s “Remember When” questions is “Comic Strips from the Past”. This comic strip was first introduced in 1931; featured a police detective who fought various villains including his popular rival Flattop Jones; and included comic characters who were caricatures of celebrities such as B.O. Plenty, (Gabby Hayes), Vitamin Flintheart (John Barrymore), and Spike Dyke (Spike Jones).  What was the name of this comic strip? Email your answers to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a two-way wrist watch – preferably an Apple watch.
Well, it’s been another week, looking for the shade. Until we meet again, don’t let the sun beat you down.

“If you’re going to do something tonight that you’ll be sorry for tomorrow morning, sleep late.” Henny Youngman

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